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Dspeck

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Reply with quote  #1 
Since my early childhood I am used to sit with crossed knees, today I am in my mid-40s and it is still quite easy for me to assume the standard sitar sitting position. However, since recently, I have trouble, my knee starts hurting after 30 minutes. Hard to tell if it is the joint directly, tendons or nerves, the pain is moving when I change position. It might have to do with circulation, that is how it feels sometimes. After stretching my leg a little I can play on for another 20 minutes or so. Next stretching gives me less time, and I can't practise much more than an hour per day. This is very unfortunate because I only have time for practise in the evening and after an hour of knee-rest, it is almost too late to pick up the sitar again although physically it would be possible again - I can tell from the week-ends.

Perhaps one reason for this trouble is that I have to walk about all day during work, hardly ever sit except for the breaks. Now I wonder if there is anything I could do in order to strengthen my knees a bit, since neither finding another job nor dropping sitar playing is an option. I also don't like to switch for another sitar position unless I have to. However, strengthening a knee which is under constant stress sounds like a contradiction, I might have to wait until my next vacation.

Well, any helpful ideas are welcome. I do know that the best recommendation is to see a doctor and I will eventually. But even doctors depend on trial and error and perhaps someone knows more direct ways.
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #2 
Trust me when I say--" I feel your pain".... :wink:

Both my knees were "shot" rather early in life and now, at age 61, they are worse. Without going into a great disortation, suffice to say that while I am ambulatory, I'm disabled. Being overweight hasn't helped me in my quest to play the sitar, so I'm forced to make certain changes.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but even Raviji has changed positions while playing, prefering to now dangle his legs over the front of the stage.

I simply sit on a bed or on a sofa to play as well as to take lessons from my teacher. It's just something that I'm resolved to do. You may have to consider that, as well.

Secondly, and I'm not doing a commercial here, by any means, and I often do not condone any type of magic potions. However, I am using a product called "Recovery Rub" by "ALL-TERRAIN". I find this cream helps me, not only on my knees, but also on my wrists and hands. I'm sure that you can find it on-line, their telephone number is 1-800-246-7328. I happened to find the product in the 'tree-bark-heath-nut' isle of my local grocery.

I wish you well in your quest to slow down the pain. Now, if I can just get rid of carpal tunnel.......... :roll:

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Let's hope 2016 is less violent and that people discover the soothing influence of ICM. Hari OM!
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Dspeck

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Reply with quote  #3 
Recovery rub is probably not available in Germany, but now you mention it, I remember that we have a few good products here as well, I'll give that a try, but also look for Recovery rub.

Thank you very much for this advise!
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coughcapkittykat

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Reply with quote  #4 
I get that a lot too. If I play for an hour I can barely stand/walk on my left leg for a few minutes afterwards. I thought perhaps I just wasn't sitting correctly but I can't see many corrections for sitting in the traditional position.

Having to play on a rock hard tiled floor doesn't make it anymore comfortable :?

Forgot to say, I only really feel the pain when I get up rather than while I'm playing.
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Dspeck

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Reply with quote  #5 
I checked on the internet, Recovery Rub seems to be similar to Mobilat, which is very popular in Germany. I happened to find some in my bathroom and will give it a try.

On the other hand, I think that a well trained body doesn't need such things and so I wonder if there are any exercises to strengthen the knees. I read something about it recently. So far, I know that the quadriceps abd the muscles above the legs should be strong enough to support the knee. Furthermore, I think, that these muscles help little, if the torso is weak.

PS: I think the main reason for Ravi Shankar to change his sitting position was his left shoulder, because of which he even needs a special sitar these days.
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ragamala

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Reply with quote  #6 
Maybe in mid-forties it's a bit early to be worrying about arthritis being a cause of knee problems, in my case this kicked in a few years later, first in one knee, then the other whilst the first got better, then settling in in both.

Playing, as I did, sarangi, I didn't have to worry too much about the position of the instrument relative to my behind, so rather than using soft cushions I constructed a low wooden seat some 2 inches or so high, this relieved the pressure on my knees enough for me to play a lot more comfortably, without compromising my posture.

I have tried, both singly and in combination, cod liver oil, flax seed oil and glucosomine and chondroitin tablets (the latter, ie g/c were what my doctor recommended, he hasn't any other solution to my problems). I think these are likely to work better than external rubs, and out of these I tend to think flax seed oil taken regularly is the most effective. But I do tend to mix these, even taking all three on a regular basis, and wouldn't be dogmatic. This stuff can't do any harm. Another major factor for my knees is weather conditions, so I tend to ease off the combination in my dry summer. But certainly my knees have been a lot better generally since I went on this route, as well as not punishing them by forcing them into a physical situation they obviously did not enjoy.
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #7 
The mid-forties suck! I'd suggest first a simple xray really, it will show worn cartilage/arthritis quickly. I have the same issues too, shots in the fingers, etc. etc.
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cabernethy

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Reply with quote  #8 
suck they do indeed, I'm happy if I can feel my left leg after a long session
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Dspeck

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Reply with quote  #9 
Well, I am not giving up lightly. I will consult a doctor next week and see if he can find anything, but I am pretty sure that I am doing something wrong with my body, sitting too much at the computer, doing almost no sports anymore and the like. Well, I'll keep you informed and any other suggestions are still welcome.
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chris thill

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Reply with quote  #10 
Perhaps it's time to try a "fusion" sitar, one with a flat wooden body (like mine) ? Sure, the sound is not as loud and as rich as with a full sized tumba. But the playing position is much less of a bother.
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Dspeck

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Reply with quote  #11 
This is interesting: Since I focussed on taking care of my knee, it got much better. Basically, I am walking with more precise steps and I change positions more often when sitting at my computer. If I had a concert coming up, I should probably not sit on my computer at all for a few days and I could "survive" two hours (but my fingers wouldn't yet).

I have to acknowledge, that my left knee is a bit weak and I am still looking for exercises. I should also see a doctor (haven't yet) and see what he suggests. Over the last few weeks, work was pretty hard and that apparently contributed to the problem. I want to be prepared for the next time.
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chefothefuture

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Reply with quote  #12 
I use "Sun Breeze" oil by Sunrider, Arnica gel, regular Iyangar yoga classes, and if I am extra special good, the missus will give it a massage... (helps being married to an LMP ).....
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Dspeck"
This is interesting: Since I focussed on taking care of my knee, it got much better.GREAT!!!! Basically, I am walking with more precise steps and I change positions more often when sitting at my computer. If I had a concert coming up, I should probably not sit on my computer at all for a few days and I could "survive" two hours (but my fingers wouldn't yet).

I have to acknowledge, that my left knee is a bit weak and I am still looking for exercises. I should also see a doctor (haven't yet) and see what he suggests. Over the last few weeks, work was pretty hard and that apparently contributed to the problem. I want to be prepared for the next time.
Hey, maybe you should give up your day job and apply for disability--- then go on the tour, playing sitar for the rest of your life! I mean, some folks quit work, buy a motorhome and chase the sun, why not you? :roll: :wink:

Seriously, glad to hear that you are feeling better. Now, back to work!

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Let's hope 2016 is less violent and that people discover the soothing influence of ICM. Hari OM!
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